Posted by News Express | 13 March 2015 | 4,426 times
Worried by the rising level of immorality among youths in the society, the Ladies of the Order of Knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria, Lekki Sub-council, Archdiocese of Lagos, gathered over 500 Catholic youths in the neighbourhood under one roof to discuss the many benefits of chastity.
According to the President, Ladies of Saint Mulumba, Lekki Sub-Council, Lady Nkiru Ezeh, the recent one-day seminar was borne out of their maternal conviction that chastity is still a great virtue.
The seminar titled ‘Chaste Youth, Happy Adult’ was aimed at the addressing the secular culture as reflected in the media that not only accepts sex outside marriage but also encourages it.
Welcoming participants to the Catholic Church of Transfiguration, Victoria Garden City, Lagos, Lady Ezeh lamented that though chastity and purity are not valued as used to be the case in the past, God still values purity. She attributed the decline in societal value for chastity and purity to frequent separations and divorces while urging youths to embrace chastity in all its ramifications.
She said: “The youth, we believe, is the life wire of every society and if we don’t train them as we should now, then the future is not certain. Chastity is all-encompassing and it is not old-fashioned.
“If you are pure in whatever you do, then you will succeed. The internet is there bombarding our children with lots of things but we as mothers and caregivers have the primary responsibility of training our children to be responsible adults. We should not close our eyes to these facts.”
Also charging the youths on the need to embrace chastity, Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Transfiguration, Rev. Father Mike Okonkwo, said a child who embraces chastity will automatically become a happy adult. Okonkwo called on the youths to make good use of all they learnt, as it will definitely make them happy adults.
One of the facilitators Dr. Onyeka Iwuchukwu, enjoined youths to always crave for God’s presence and his pleasure when tempted to sin.
According to Iwuchukwu, who addressed the many ills of living unchaste life as a youth, “Sex is celebrated everywhere but I will tell you emphatically that chastity is still cherished. As a youth you need to preserve yourself according to God’s injunction. Your relationship with God is very important in whatever you do and I think you should ask yourself constantly who is worth destroying your relationship with God through fornication?
“Consider so many things before you sin and don’t allow yourself to be tossed around by Satan.” Iwuchukwu concluded by advising youths to embrace chastity by being the master of their body.
Speaking on the spiritual benefits of chastity, one of the facilitators, Mrs. Chineze Ofodile, stated that chastity is not only about pre-marital sex but is something to be treasured.
Her words: “All these things are distractions in our world. Chastity enhances us and lets us stop painting the picture that we can get away with unchaste acts. We complain about breakdown of marriages but I tell you, if you want a future of peace, you need to cultivate it today by living a chaste life.
“Respect yourself and you won’t indulge in anything that is not pure. Let us open our eyes to the teachings of God and his church so we can have a better society. Chastity is the basis of everything that is good and don’t forget that everything that is good don’t come cheap. I enjoin you all to learn self-control because we can’t repair the damage done.”
Dr. Gertrude Bassey spoke on the medical benefits of living a chaste life as youths. She said that any youth who lives a chaste life will grow up to be happy. Aside this, Bassey noted that living a chaste life brings about healthy marriage and their fertility will be preserved while they remain healthy.
Another facilitator, Mrs. Theresa Uju Chiejina, said: “Chastity is not something like a jacket that you can put on or take off whenever you like. Chastity is a part of yourself that communicates itself to others in your daily words and actions.
“Modesty is one important way to express chastity. Wearing appropriate and non-suggestive clothing, not calling undue attention to your body, and keeping your speech free of sexually suggestive talk, are simple ways to let others know what you believe.”
Giving the gathered youths useful tips on dating, she said that it means different things to different people. According to her, “In high school and university, formal dating (where the guy picks up the girl, takes her to dinner or a movie, and pays the expenses) is less common than it used to be.
“Whether formal or informal, dating is a way for guys and girls to spend time together, build friendships, develop romantic relationships, and consider prospective marriage partners. However, dating especially single dating is also the likely occasion for sexual temptations and sexual behaviour to occur. As with other areas of your life that are important, it’s important to have a strategy and develop guidelines for the time you spend together with the opposite sex.”
One of the attendees, Amaka Onyekachi, when asked her thoughts about the prevalence of unchastity, said it is very rampant and many youths go into it without weighing the many negative consequences. She said: “Sometimes, of course, unmarried young women and men do say they’re ‘in love’ when they engage in sex. Then the relationship ends, the partners enter into new relationships, they again have sex, and again they say they’re ‘in love’. It mocks love to call serial fornication by this name. And it mocks parental responsibility for parents to imagine they’ve done their duty by telling their children to avoid unprotected sex and have sex only in a caring relationship.
“Chastity goes beyond not engaging in premarital sex, chastity it is about moral cleanliness in thoughts, words, deeds and purity.”
•Photo shows cross sections of participants in the seminar.
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